Understanding Transfer Trauma & How to Minimize It


If your aging parent is showing signs of dementia, then it may be time to start looking at senior housing options. Both independent living and assisted living are options for your loved one. If you have just started talking to your parent about moving to a community, then you notice some resistance. This is normal and it may give rise to something called transfer trauma. Keep reading to learn what this and how it can be best avoided.

What Is Transfer Trauma?

Transfer trauma is something that is associated with individuals who have developed early stage dementia. The term is specifically used to describe the stress and anxiety that develops when an individual with dementia changes their living situation. This stress is most often seen when the senior moves from the family home or apartment and into a senior living or assisted living space.

While moving is stressful, a large change can have a severe emotional and physical effect on the elderly. When it comes to emotional distress, individuals with may feel lonely, confused, and disoriented. This is more pronounced when your loved one has dementia. You may see signs of anger, irritability, sadness, and anxiety as well. The stress can also exacerbate dementia symptoms and you may notice your loved one acting out.

When it comes to physical symptoms, the stress can lead to increased levels of pain, increased heart rate, and sleeplessness. Disorientation can lead to falls and possible injuries as well.

Stress associated with transfer trauma can lead to the quick progression of dementia and long-term effects. If you do not want your loved one's health to deteriorate simply because they need to move, then you need to reduce transfer trauma issues.

How to Reduce the Negative Effects of Transfer Trauma

There are a wide variety of things you can do to prevent transfer trauma issues. Allow your loved one to be involved in the moving process and also let them choose the living situation and facility that they like best. This may mean that you need to make arrangements for several community tours. Allowing your parent to keep their personal belongings and arrange them in the new space is important as well. Of course, all possessions may not fit in the community, so let your loved one choose what they want to keep.

Keeping routines is a good way to reduce confusion and disorientation, so work with community staff to make sure that routines can be retained as much as possible. 

If you notice your loved one becoming stressed and agitated, then do your best to remain calm, reassure them, and spend as much time with your family member as possible. Your active participation in the move can certainly help to reduce stress and anxiety. 

For more information or assistance, contact services like Mayfair Village Retirement Community.


20 July 2017

assisted living following a stroke

When my mom had a stroke, I knew that things were never going to be the same. We were very fortunate that she lived so close to the hospital and that the neighbor was there visiting when it happened, because the outcome is not as bad as it could have been. Unfortunately, she needed a lot of extra care while she worked to recover from the damage that was done. I found a wonderful assisted living facility to place her in to get the help that she needed. If you have a loved one that has recently experienced the same thing, my blog could be quite helpful for you.